Talent Q

What is Talent Q?

Talent Q was established in 2006 by a small team with substantial experience in psychometric testing. Led by Roger Holdsworth, one of the world’s leading authorities on objective assessment and a co-founder of the testing company SHL, the team aimed to develop a new approach to psychometric testing.

Traditionally, the various categories of psychometric tests served very different purposes, with different tests used for recruitment, development, team-building and identifying potential. Talent Q set out to provide flexible psychometric assessments where a single test could be used for a wide range of different applications (eg verbal and numerical proficiency, logical ability, as well as personality assessments): a candidate could be assessed once and then different reports generated when they were needed.

In 2014 Talent Q was acquired by the Hay Group, an international management consulting organisation.

How is Talent Q different from other psychometric tests?

The tests created by Talent Q can be thought of as second-generation psychometric tests. The team took what they had learned from creating specific psychometric tests and looked to bring that together with developments in computer technology, to enhance and develop the assessment space by developing new and responsive tests.

Talent Q tests are different from many traditional psychometric tests in a number of ways:

  • The same test can be used to generate a wide range of different reports, reducing the need to re-assess candidates regularly. This saves both time and money.

  • They are responsive to the candidate's ability levels, and a candidate's response to a question will determine the difficulty of the next question they receive. If a candidate gets a question wrong an easier one follows, while if he gets it right, a harder one follows. This is known as computer adaptive testing (CAT) and allows the test to quickly determine the candidate's maximum performance level. So although two candidates may start the test with the same question, they can face very different questions depending on their responses. This reduces the time required for testing and improves test security.

  • The way that Talent Q tests present information can look different to other (perhaps more familiar) psychometric tests. For example, they tend to show more irrelevant data that the candidate needs to sift through to be able to answer the question. They also often have a larger number of potential answers, making it harder to guess. As a result of this people often report finding Talent Q tests challenging.

Who uses Talent Q tests?

Talent Q tests are becoming increasingly well used. Some of the organisations that use Talent Q tests are: RBS, Virgin Atlantic, Royal Mail Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Ford, B&Q, Citi, AstraZeneca and many more.

Types of Talent Q tests

The innovative way that Talent Q tests are designed means that they offer a small number of very flexible tests. These are:

Dimensions. A very flexible personality questionnaire that considers an individual’s preferences within the workplace, their style of relationship management, how they approach tasks, and what they find energising and motivating. These personality dimensions are then used to generate a range of reports including:

  1. A trait profile
  2. A behavioural type at work report (how an individual prefers to work)
  3. A team profile (exploring how an individual is likely to work within a team)
  4. A sales profile (how comfortable an individual is with each element of the sales process)
  5. A role match profile (how well an individual’s dimensions report matches the requirements of a particular role)
  6. A derailment report (the personality characteristics which may cause an individual to come off track in times of pressure or stress)
  7. A potential report (the individual’s likely strengths and development areas in relation to leadership potential)

Drives. A questionnaire that explores an individual’s motivations, values and drivers at work. It is used to identify what sorts of factors stimulate and energise them. This can then be used to coach individuals around what sorts of roles/tasks might fit with them, or to help leaders understand how to engage and motivate their teams.

Elements. Ability tests designed for graduate, professional, managerial and executive level recruitment. They assess verbal, numerical and logical reasoning skills.

Aspects Ability. Ability tests designed for volume recruitment for frontline, customer service and sales roles. They assess verbal, numerical and checking skills.

Aspects Styles. A questionnaire that assesses behavioural preferences at work and compares these to the competency requirements of a particular role. Specifically used in volume recruitment.

Judgement. Situational judgement tests for volume recruitment. These help identify how an individual responds in particular situations and compares this to the requirements of a particular role.

Further information and how to practice Talent Q tests

As with all psychometric tests, to perform at your best you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with the types of questions used, the timings involved, and the general look and feel of the material. Remember, Talent Q tests can look quite different to other psychometric tests so it is worth taking the time to sit some practice tests, such as these.